Energy. Growth. Cell repair and regeneration.
All of these vital functions can be attributed to efficient digestion. Our bodies can utilize the food we eat only when it is fully digested.
In cases when our food is partially digested or remains undigested, it leads to a number of health problems, including acidity, gastric distress, bloating, stomach aches and heartburn, to name a few.
Within Ayurvedic ideology, “Agni”, the digestive fire is responsible for the digestive process. Several spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, ajwain (carom seeds), fennel seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, mint, accompanied by certain yoga asanas are known to speed up the digestive process.
Here are some natural steps to increase the secretion of digestive enzymes and accelerate the process of food passing though the stomach (gastric emptying):
- Infuse Tulsi leaves and sip the tea before and after meals. This helps stimulate appetite, promotes digestion by increasing the flow of gastric juices, while reducing gastric trouble and bloating.
- Drink a glass of fresh yoghurt sprinkled with rock salt and cumin powder in between or after meals, to stimulate the power of digestion.
- Drink this Triphala concoction to speed up the digestive process
- Combine 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of Triphala powder into 500 ml of warm water
- Add honey into this tea to enhance flavour
- Drink lukewarm water or a cup of tea after meal. This can help quick start the digestive process. For digestive tea:
- Combine ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon powder (or one cinnamon stick) + ½ teaspoon of mint powder or fresh leaves preferably + 1 teaspoon of ajwain seeds into 2 cups (500 ml) of water and boil it
- Squeeze 1 lemon and add 1 teaspoon of honey (if needed) into the tea
Drinking this digestive tea may help ease bloating and stimulate digestion.
- Drink Apple Cider Vinegar to boost metabolism. You can consume it up to twice a day, diluted in water. This also aids in passing food down the gut.
- Chew fennel, cardamom seeds and betel leaves after meals – these are considered to be effective in digesting food.
- Sit in Vajrasan for 15 minutes to help pass down food from stomach into the intestine. Alternatively, walk at least 100 steps just after meals to improve blood flow and quick-start the digestive process.
Also, staying away from refrigerated food or drinks and avoiding water just before, in between or after food is good for digestive health. Ayurveda recommends, sipping lukewarm water in between meals to help speed up the digestive process.
Above all, taking care of meal timings is an important practice for maintaining digestive health. Heavy meals taken at odd hours may cause heartburn, bloating, nausea and even headache. Taking proper meals at the right time is crucial to retain good health and achieve Ayushman (long life).